Grateful Dead Live at Merriweather Post Pavillion on 1985-07-01
# some weirdness around the 1:29 mark. I think it was the PA.
+drums was joined using wavmerge.
* Recorded from row directly behind SBD, very close to center.
Notes: This is the 16Bit version. 24 Bit is archived on DVDA.
June 22, 2011
...if you count the first set. With just the second set, it's more like a 4.4, but everything after Space is a solid 5.
The show starts kinda shaky, with Garcia the obvious weak link if you can listen without your Deadhead earplugs in: Dupree's features some poor playing on his part, and Jack-a-Roe is ho hum. Stagger Lee, however, is an amazing, glorious and rather hilarious comeback: Garcia completely fucks up the song, putting the last verse before the part where Delia D. shoots Stagger Lee in the balls. This is not a mistake you're allowed to make with ANY ballad, especially this one! But he just goes ahead and does the ball-shooting verse after, and then repeats the last verse, quiets the song down, and then goes into the refrain with such verve and gusto that you'd think the verses were meant to be sung in that order. This is true artistic ingenuity and comping on the fly, and it makes for my favorite Stagger Lee that I've ever heard: a quintessential Grateful Dead moment! Oddly, the other peak in the 1st set is Walkin', which is slowed down to the point where amazing jamming can happen between the beats; it's the slowest & best Walkin' I've listened to in a long time, and I think it would make Robert Johnson proud.
A good Scarlet/Fire is followed by an unexciting Playin', but things pick up again for Uncle John's > Drums. GDTRFB/Good Lovin' is rip-roaring awesome, and the Satisfaction/Baby Blue encore is one of the greatest Dead moments in history.
This AUD recording is my favorite of those available here, being clear and deep. Suraci seems like he knew what he was doing, as I have been favorably inclined to his work before.
I seem to remember hearing this on a tape long ago, but I think it was one of the ones my friend wouldn't share, he guarded it so jealously. Well, they've played better shows than this, but not many as interesting or as fun.